2018 FBS Win Totals: 5 Best Bets to Beat the Book

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August 23, 2018 at 1:56 pm.

DrueTranquill.jpgBy Tony George – Doc’s Sports

Season win totals are out for all teams in college football, and I have done some digging and have my five best bets for “over/under” season win totals, with two top plays as well.  For 2018 I am sticking to what I know more than anything this season, that is my is my theme and mantra in 2018.  The Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12, and about 10-12 small conference teams is where I like to find hidden gems with and is my focus going into this football season.  Only seven teams in Division I football have a season win total of 10 wins or more this year, which tells you the level of parity in college football.  There are some lofty expectations for teams like Alabama, Georgia, Washington, Ohio State, Boise State, Clemson and Oklahoma, with all listed at 10 wins or more.

With so many college games every Saturday, I tend to dial it in with a few conferences I follow closely. I gather as much information as I can, follow the social media of beat sportswriters, and know those conference trends and coaching tendencies inside and out better than the Average Joe, and that gives myself and my clients a good edge against the number.  Remember in sports betting that less is more.

Outside of the Top 5-8 teams in the country, there is a ton of parity in CFB, and knowing the intangibles by specializing and narrowing it down to a few well-researched teams is the way to go.  When looking at futures wagers, one must keep in mind that coaching changes can have a positive or negative impact on a program because of the amount of transition involved.  For teams like Nebraska, it will have a positive influence because they needed a coaching change and had talent at skill positions but lacked any coaching at all.  On the other side of that scenario, a team like Florida State had a ton of good coaching and talent and did not need a change, and a beloved coach Jimbo Fisher left for big money at Texas A&M after one down year, and that could have an adverse effect on a team like the Seminoles.

The football season is right around the corner, and here are a few of the teams I like to either go under or over the Las Vegas lines with season win totals.  You can also get $60 worth of my premium member picks here.

Nebraska (Over 6 Wins -110)     BEST BET

The arrival of Scott Frost and some recruiting talent (very good recruiting year), and serious talent deep into the coaching staff as well, is going to vault the Huskers into the national narrative again in a few years, but this year we are talking about six wins.  Nebraska never saw a bowl game under Mike Riley, a total clown of a coach, and yet one of the best fade coaches in my business, in 2017, and I was sad to see him go from that perspective.  While Nebraska was sitting home in December hiring a new AD and a head coach, Scott Frost was at Central Florida going undefeated and beating the SEC’s Auburn in a bowl game in one of the greatest two-year turnarounds in CFB history.

The Huskers have 15 starters returning, eight on defense and the entire DL is back.  With new DC Erik Chandler, expect them to be active up front and bull rush the opposing QB a lot as his play calling is very aggressive.  The secondary needs some work, but they will improve, and the defense overall will improve from a deplorable 36 ppg allowed last year.  The Huskers turned it over a ton last year, and I expect that to improve as Tanner Lee, their ousted QB now, was a human turnover and pick-6 machine.

The QB situation is still fluid, and numerous guys stepped up in the spring game that had 86,000 in attendance in Lincoln, I was one of them as an Alum I might add.

Adrian Martinez, a true frosh (looked great in spring game), is leading the pack, but anyone who gets the call will run a fast-faced spread attack like Central Florida and Oregon, where Frost coached. That is going to be a plug-and-play situation for Frost.  The QB has all his RB’s and WR’s and TE’s back from last year’s team, including the best 1-2 at WR in the Big Ten, and Stanley Morgan may be the best WR in the conference.  The schedule is not easy with Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State all on the road plus Northwestern.  Akron, Colorado and Troy open up the nonconference schedule in Lincoln, I expect the Huskers to win all 3 games.  They have Purdue, Minnesota and Illinois all at home, and I expect those games to be wins but Minnesota might be tricky.  They need to beat someone as a signature win, perhaps at Michigan to open the Big Ten season or Michigan State in Lincoln late in November.  Games at Northwestern and Iowa could be winnable as well.  I see seven to eight wins here this season and a bowl game for the Huskers as Frost tries to revive the program.

South Carolina (Over 7 Wins -110)

Last year the win total was 5.5 for Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks, and they exceeded that and had a solid year and a win over Michigan in the bowl game as well.  Fourteen starters return and the team has two glaring games this year: Georgia early and Clemson as their last game loom large.  Still, in my opinion, there is not enough adjustment in this number as the Gamecocks won nine games last year, eight of them in the regular season.

The Gamecocks should finish second to mighty Georgia in the East Division of the SEC.  QB Jake Bentley is a stud, they have a great defense, they find ways to win games, and Muschamp is a win-at-all-costs-type coach. Both WR’s Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards are game breakers, and they run a balanced attack.  Nonconference games with Coastal Carolina and Marshall are wins, and they have Chattanooga in late November, too, which is a layup.  Home games with Mizzou, Texas A&M, Tennessee and Georgia (second game of the year), I think help a ton as well.   The key is scoring, and South Carolina has not scored well under Muschamp. I think that changes in 2018, and they are going to be a tough out for anyone with their defense, which will stuff the run and contain the corners as well as anyone in the SEC.  South Carolina was a 9-4 team last year, and I actually expect the same record (eight regular-season wins).

San Diego State (Under 8.5 wins -120)

The Aztecs lost a ton last year and have a brutal road schedule.  No Rashaad Penny or Donnel Pumphrey as they just keep losing stud RB’s, which is just huge, not to mention the offensive newcomers have an OL replacing three starters in front of them as graduation hit the OL hard as well.   Games with Stanford, improved Boise State and a good Fresno State team are all on the road, plus Arizona State should all be another loss, although Arizona State is beatable but a toss-up game.  The defense is confusing for Rocky Long’s team as they run an unconventional style but conference teams are figuring that out now and exposing weakness.

I see a seven- or eight-win year, not a nine-win year as they simply will have to throw to win this year, and teams will scheme against that without the big threat of a run.  SDSU is spoiled having premier running backs to keep defenses honest, they lack that angle this year.   There is a reason why the Under here is chalkier than the Over.

Notre Dame (Under 9.5 Wins – Even Odds)

It is not like the old days where the Fighting Irish just reload and are the team to beat every year.  Notre Dame lost a lot of good players last year, including their two best OL players, their top RB and top WR.  Notre Dame takes on all comers, and their schedule is brutal.  Five of their opponents they play have season win totals between 7 and 9 wins, and three others are sitting at 6 wins.  Other than some SEC teams, week to week Notre Dame always has one of the toughest schedules out there.

I am not sold on their head coach, Brian Kelly, either, with his bad clock management and he takes unnecessary risks when he does not need to that costs them games.  They have home games against Michigan, Stanford early, Florida State and then road games at nasty Virginia Tech and USC late in the season as always, and a ton of good teams thrown in the mix as well do not bode well for them.  High expectations for the Irish as many have them in the Top 12 in the pre-season polls, but losing the left side of their OL and their two key offensive weapons will leave a mark. Ask yourself this question: when was the last time Notre Dame was an elite program?  The Irish got lit up last year and are breaking in a new defensive coordinator this year.  Eight wins max in my opinion.

West Virginia (Over 7 Even Odds)   BEST BET

There are two things about West Virginia you should know: they do not like to play defense and will want to outscore you, and the other constant is playing in Morgantown is a snake pit and a brutal and grueling road trip for anyone, especially Big 12 teams.  Will Grier threw for 3,400+ yards last year and returns, and the offense should be high-octane again and put up a ton of points, so teams need to be ready to trade punches on the scoreboard all day long.  I think lack of defense for West Virginia (last in Big 12 in 2017) will be mitigated by the play of their offense, and frankly no one in the Big 12 has much of a defense anyway.   They get Oklahoma, K State and TCU at home, which is big, and they play Tennessee on a neutral site to open the season, which will be a win as well.

Interesting note here as QB Will Grier is the only starting QB in the entire Big 12 from 2017 returning this season, and he is hands down the best QB in the Big 12.  Although RB Crawford is gone, head Coach Dana Holgorsen has a posse of WR’s and RB’s that can flat out scoot and make big plays from anywhere.  They also return their starting punter and kicker from last season as well.  I have WV finishing second in the Big 12, and many pre-season polls have them in the Top 15 in the country, and 7 wins honestly is low-hanging fruit at even odds and should be jumped on big time.

We hope these predictions can help you cash some tickets this season. Remember that readers of Lindy’s Sports can get $60 worth of premium member picks from Tony George or any of the 12 handicapping experts at Doc’s Sports.  Best of all this free trial comes with the same profit guarantee just as if you paid real money.  Click here to get started.